BIGGIE’S 10 FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2016 in A-B-C order Between this and 2014’s Godzilla, that’s two 450-foot home runs in a row for Gareth Edwards, who now has to be considered […]
BIGGIE’S 10 FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2016
in A-B-C order
Between this and 2014’s Godzilla, that’s two 450-foot home runs in a row for Gareth Edwards, who now has to be considered one of the top 3-5 big budget directors working today. The man simply gets it. I’d love to see him do an original project next, or something in a completely different genre other than sci-fi, but I realize both are highly unlikely. Directors get pigeon-holed these days just as easily as actors do.
Tremendous filmmaking from 86-year old Clint Eastwood. I had no recollection of the investigation into the Miracle on the Hudson being so controversial. The procedural aspects of it are fascinating. Excellent acting, good drama and you’ll learn something. At only 96 minutes long, it’s a breezy, easy watch, too.
FIVE OTHER FAVORITES: BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (despite all its flaws, I still enjoy watching it for what it gets right), CRIMINAL (the rare direct-to-video gem, starring Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman– a very cool premise with surprisingly good action and cinematography- you’ll like it), HIDDEN FIGURES, MISS SLOANE (if, like me, you have a soft spot for political thrillers, this gives us a fresh new angle on the genre), ZOOTOPIA (the first animated movie I’ve loved in several years)
11 LESSER-SEEN MOVIES YOU NEED TO WATCH: BLOOD FATHER (the other Mel Gibson movie last year, except he stars in this revenge thriller), THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, THE FOUNDER, GREEN ROOM, THE LOBSTER, A MONSTER CALLS, MORGAN, THE NEON DEMON, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING, SNOWDEN (Oliver Stone‘s best in a good while, worth a watch if the subject interests you)
It was actually a really good year for above-average, underrated and offbeat films. Some others include The Light Between Oceans, The Nice Guys, and the very Hitchcock-ian Korean film The Handmaiden, from Oldboy director Chan-wook Park.
THE 5 WORST MOVIES I SAW IN 2016
in A-B-C order
Based on the hit video game series I’ve never played, it did the genre justice – in that it continued the proud tradition of video game movies sucking balls. Why Michael Fassbender thought this was going to be his big action franchise is beyond me. In truth, my respect for Fassbender was the only reason I even saw it. He really should’ve taken a ‘Michael F. Assbender’ credit on this one so as not to be associated with it by his real name going forward. If you like this movie, it’s only because you desperately wanted to.
I’ve always said there’s nothing better than a horrible idea executed horribly.
The only thing more irritating than this movie (and the amount of talent wasted in making it) was the faux outrage online over people allegedly not liking it simply because it was a bunch of women Ghostbusters. No, it was an awful, unfunny movie. One that should’ve been aborted at the script stage. (See what I did there? Be offended.) If believing a big budget movie that happens to have female leads can also be atrocious makes me a sexist, then that word needs redefining. It’s not even worth talking about why the movie is so bad. If you were lucky enough not to see it up to this point, continue to avoid it. ESPECIALLY if you’re a 1984 Ghostbusters fan.
Rarely has a movie with such a good trailer turned out to be this bad. A good concept for a comedy totally botched. And again, we’ve got a lot of great talent involved here, which makes the end result all the sadder. However, I would pay to watch a movie based around that female Uber driver, which was the only 30 seconds or so of the movie that produced any real guffaws. If you want to watch a comedy from 2016, check out Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Neighbors 2 (which was much better than the disappointing original) or Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.
The epic-est of 2016’s many epic fails. Here are some random issues with what
could’ve should’ve been the coolest movie of the year. It should’ve been rated R. You could eliminate or substitute 2-3 of the “heroes” (Boomerang, Slipknot, Diablo) with zero impact to the story to flesh out the more interesting characters. It shouldn’t have been a “save the world” movie. A more grounded conflict would’ve been much more compelling than this supernatural bullshit. It’s got maybe the worst comic book movie villain in history (Enchantress). This Joker and Harley Quinn needed their own separate movie prior to this one. And most importantly, even though David Ayer was a good match for this material, he’s much better than this.
FIVE MORE DEPLORABLES: HAIL, CAESAR!, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (it’s almost like this movie didn’t need to be made!), NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (ditto!), STAR TREK BEYOND, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (has a great comic book villain ever been so poorly misrepresented on film than Apocalypse is here?)
Witness the absurdities of Now You See Me 2:
Looking ahead, I’m nervously optimistic about 2017. It’s off to a damned good start, I’ll say that. Split is the “M. Night Shyamalan returns to form” movie most people incorrectly thought The Visit was a couple years ago. I’ve probably already seen next year’s Best Stuntwork winner in John Wick: Chapter 2. At the very least we’ve got at least one 2017 sequel that is as good or better than its predecessor. Jordan Peele‘s Get Out was a brilliant genre-bender, reminding us you can still insert smart social commentary into any genre. It was also nice to see the R-rated Logan (in Hugh Jackman‘s final turn as Wolverine) completely live up to its rave advance reviews. It was fucking awesome and will receive serious consideration here next year in many of the top categories. There’s plenty more to look forward to. Most importantly, I want Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars: Episode VIII- The Last Jedi (an awesome title, by the way) to be great enough to be the first Star Wars movie I nominate for Best Picture. No pressure, sir.
2017 will be the first year with 3 MCU films, as we’ll be getting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5), Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7) and the star-studded Thor: Ragnarok in November, which’ll give us the first Mark Ruffalo Hulk appearance outside an Avengers movie. On the troubled DC side, we’ve got the amazing-looking Wonder Woman on June 2nd and the “cross your fingers and hope for the best” Justice League on November 17. Of all the prestige pictures we’ll get later in the year, I’m most excited about Paul Thomas Anderson returning to defend his title with an as-yet-untitled picture that reunites him with Daniel Day-Lewis, earth’s greatest living actor.
Since 2016 ended a nearly 20-year streak of even-numbered years being great, now I’m grasping onto the straw that years ending in 7 will remain lucky. 1987 produced some of my all-time favorite movies (Predator, Spaceballs, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Monster Squad, The Untouchables, Wall Street), while 1997 & 2007 are among the all-time great years of cinema. I contend that NO movie made in the decade after 2007 has been better than P.T. Anderson’s masterpiece There Will Be Blood. Can a 2017 film take the championship belt, or is that asking too much? Will I even rate any movie from this year a ‘9’ on IMDb? That hasn’t happened since April, 2014. In short, get your goddamn shit together, Hollywood!
As always, if you made it this far, I thank you. You love movies, too, and even if you disagree with some of my choices here, we’ll always have that love in common. Now get off your Netflix/streaming service-watching ass and see some more flicks on the big screen. Until next year…adios.